350:445 Revisiting Racial Passing in the 21st Century

Posted in Course Offerings, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2013-11-01 04:01Z by Steven

350:445 Revisiting Racial Passing in the 21st Century

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Summer 2013

This is a course on racial passing, which many people wrongly believe is an antiquated phenomenon. Passing has historically referred to light-skinned African Americans who use their phenotypes to pretend to be white and enjoy the privileges of whiteness. As we will discuss in our seminar, today people pass in a variety of ways, and not just racially. For example, folks regularly pass economically, religiously, and/or through gender. In discussing contemporary passing, we will begin with President Barack Obama, who some have argued has engaged in a form of passing by having black skin yet “white politics.”

We will read primary and secondary material on this literary genre, to determine the tropes, images, themes, and formal elements that comprise “the passing narrative.” We will also consider the ways in which it has been expanded in this “post-race” era.

Primary texts will include:

Films will include: “Imitation of Life” (1934 & 1959) and “The Human Stain” (2003).

For more information, click here.

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Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana’s Free People of Color

Posted in Anthologies, Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2011-04-24 17:27Z by Steven

Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana’s Free People of Color

Louisiana State University Press
August 2000
344 pages
Trim: 6 x 9 , Illustrations: 14 halftones
Paper ISBN-13: 978-0-8071-2601-1

Edited by:

Sybil Kein (born Consuela Marie Moore), Distinguished Professor of English Emerita
University of Michigan

The word Creole evokes a richness rivaled only by the term’s widespread misunderstanding. Now both aspects of this unique people and culture are given thorough, illuminating scrutiny in Creole, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary history of Louisiana’s Creole population. Written by scholars, many of Creole descent, the volume wrangles with the stuff of legend and conjecture while fostering an appreciation for the Creole contribution to the American mosaic.

The collection opens with a historically relevant perspective found in Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson’s 1916 piece “People of Color of Louisiana” and continues with contemporary writings: Joan M. Martin on the history of quadroon balls; Michel Fabre and Creole expatriates in France; Barbara Rosendale Duggal with a debiased view of Marie Laveau; Fehintola Mosadomi and the downtrodden roots of Creole grammar; Anthony G. Barthelemy on skin color and racism as an American legacy; Caroline Senter on Reconstruction poets of political vision; and much more. Violet Harrington Bryan, Lester Sullivan, Jennifer DeVere Brody, Sybil Kein, Mary Gehman, Arthé A. Anthony, and Mary L. Morton offer excellent commentary on topics that range from the lifestyles of free women of color in the nineteenth century to the Afro-Caribbean links to Creole cooking.

By exploring the vibrant yet marginalized culture of the Creole people across time, Creole goes far in diminishing past and present stereotypes of this exuberant segment of our society. A study that necessarily embraces issues of gender, race and color, class, and nationalism, it speaks to the tensions of an increasingly ethnically mixed mainstream America.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • I HISTORY
    • 1 People of Color in Louisiana – Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson
    • 2 Marcus Christian’s Treatment of Les Gens de Couloir Libre – Violet Harrington Bryan
    • 3 Plaçage and the Louisiana Gens de Couleur Libre: How Race and Sex Defined the Lifestyles of Free Women of Color – Joan M. Martin
    • 4 Composers of Color of Nineteenth-Century New Orleans: The History Behind the Music – Lester Sullivan
    • 5 The Yankee Hugging the Creole: Reading Dion Boucicault’s The OctoroonJennifer DeVere Brody
    • 6 The Use of Louisiana Creole in Southern Literature – Sybil Kein
  • II LEGACY
    • 7 Marie Laveau: The Voodoo Queen Repossessed – Barbara Rosendale Duggal
    • 8 New Orleans Creole Expatriates in France: Romance and Reality – Michel Fabre
    • 9 Visible Means of Support: Businesses, Professions, and Trades of Free People of Color – Mary Gehman
    • 10 The Origin of Louisiana Creole – Fehintola Mosadomi
    • 11 Louisiana Creole Food Culture: Afro-Caribbean Links – Sybil Kein
    • 12 Light, Bright, Damn Near White: Race, the Politics of Genealogy, and the Strange Case of Susie GuilloryAnthony G. Barthelemy
    • 13 Creole Poets on the Verge of a Nation – Caroline Senter
    • 14 “Lost Boundaries”: Racial Passing and Poverty in Segregated New Orleans – ArthĂ© Anthony
    • 15 Creole Culture in the Poetry of Sybil Kein – Mary L. Morton
  • Contributors
  • Index
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